Tim Thornton’s inventive applications for technology have helped doctors save lives and supported police forces on the beat in a diverse technical career. He built his experience as a Modelling Engineer and Technical Marketer at ARM Ltd before tackling new challenges as a Technology Architect at management and technology consultancy Accenture. He recently returned to ARM as Director of ARM based Engineering, a role bringing together his experience of IT with his knowledge of ARM systems. An alumnus of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS), Tim is excited to be re-engaging with the University of Southampton and its next generation of entrepreneurs through Future Worlds.
He was raised in Reading, Berkshire, and was interested in engineering and robotics in his youth, completing an informative year in industry with telecommunications company Nortel Networks before entering into higher education. Impressed by ECS in Southampton, he came to the city to study a Masters in Computer Engineering. “I have many happy memories of being here,” he says. “My fourth year was an incredibly intense period with some 100-hour weeks and I remember working in the labs on some great projects in an interesting atmosphere.”
Tim secured a post working on software as a Modelling Engineer at ARM Ltd in 2002 and went on broaden his experience in positions with the company’s technical marketing and licensing teams. “The idea of having an input on what the CPUs of the future might look like was really quite enticing,” he says. “ARM’s key strength is its eco-system. They have a number of partners working to further technologies so they have a lot of influence in the industry.”
After five years at ARM, Tim sought a role which could apply engineering in creative ways while also spending more time with clients. He joined Accenture and has worked on a vast range of projects as a consultant and a Technology Architect specialising in mobility and infrastructure within the healthcare, telecoms and broadcast sectors. His work has included lifesaving medical image archiving for the National Health Service and time spent behind the scenes at an American theme park.
“I’m interested in linking new ideas to turn them into something bigger and more exciting,” he explains. “The future direction of technology is really interesting right now. The ability to bring different components together is now a skill that many more people have both in this country and around the world.” In his spare time, Tim serves as a school governor in Cambridge and enjoys experimenting with photography.
“What excites me about becoming a Future Worlds Mentor is the prospect of talking to the next generation of innovators and seeing what new ideas they’re coming up with,” he adds. “There is a lot of potential at the early stage of an idea to take it to different places.”
Tim is looking to use his high tech expertise and business contacts to support Future Worlds’ entrepreneurial network.
“I have experience of working with large organisations in the public sector, so I have an understanding of the way that startups are seen and how to interact with those businesses,” he says. “I can also provide industrial and technical links – particularly within Cambridge’s tech cluster – to people who can help small business develop their products.” You can get in touch with Tim using the contact form on this page.
Tim believes that determination and integrity are the most important qualities that entrepreneurs need to achieve success. “Determination will give you the drive to deal with the knockbacks you will inevitably face,” he explains. “It is also essential though that you have integrity. Otherwise, while you might have success the first or second time, people won’t want to work with you if they feel you are leading them astray or taking advantage of them. It’s a critical part of any successful person.”